“We Are Drowning in Red Beet, Patching Up the Holes in the Iron Curtain”: The Punk Subculture in Ljubljana in the Late 1970s and Early 1980s

In: East Central Europe
Oskar Mulej
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This article discusses the phenomenon of punk in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, from its beginnings in the early 1970s to its heyday in early 1980s and its subsequent differentiation and dissolution in a wider alternative scene. The subject is thereby being treated primarily as a genre of protest music and as a youth subculture. A special focus is given to the harsh reactions on part of the communist regime, in particular the 1981 “Nazi punk affair,” and the strong political significance punk thus came to possess—albeit to a large extent unintentionally. Excerpts of lyrics from Ljubljana punk rock bands are also presented, pointing to the attitudes of the punk youth towards their social environment and political situation and revealing how they came to be seen as a threat to the socialist order. In the conclusion, the sociopolitical legacy of punk and certain controversies surrounding it are shortly touched upon.

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